Lucia Ferrario

Lucia is a photographer/ health coach from Milan in Italy and has been to Kamalaya eight times, staying up to 9 weeks.

When I first came to Kamalaya for a Detox Program in 2015, I knew immediately that I wanted to come back. I was in a transition phase and being at Kamalaya supported this. I didn’t know yet that I was about to leave my old job as a feature and documentary photographer but it was definitely starting here. The next time I came I stayed longer and realized that you need time ­- a moon cycle or even 40 days  - to rewire your brain and allow all the possible transformation to happen.

The most important fact is that you need to get out of your stress modality. When you are in fear and don’t feel safe you are not able to be creative, you are not able to produce any good chemicals for your body, you’re not able change even the smallest habits, not even resist to chocolate. You are not able to go into a meditative state, you are not able to see new opportunities, new learning and experience some kind of thinking outside of the box. You need to cultivate this shift.

Being at Kamalaya is a about uncluttering and because you are calmer and feel safe, it is the perfect  place to plant new seeds and have ideas to begin something new. It starts with the right food and nutrition which is very well taken care of here and the fact that you are surrounded by peaceful and beautiful nature.

When I stayed for a four weeks I realized that besides my passion for photography healing was my passion all along the years. I studied with Alberto Villoldo and did internships with Carlos Castaneda  and Deepak Chopra and am now a Health Coach and Energy Medicine Practitioner.

When I am at Kamalaya, I follow my own schedule. I like to wake up with nature at dawn, then do my yoga practice and meditation, then go to breakfast. This is where I like to connect with people, it is my favorite time of the day! After wards is study time, I read books of my teachers, take notes for new ideas, or create a series on sessions I’d like to work on with clients. In the afternoon I do treatments like the Ayurvedic  Marma Point Massage that support and help me. And I spend a lot of time in nature, under my favorite tree or in the laguna, where there are special places towards the coral reef.

When you are in such a beauty you start to see a lot of what is inside of you, it is just very joyful. I am so grateful that John and Karina created this amazing place and space for healing and transformation, for literally connecting and counting our blessings.

Jürgen Pflugfelder

Jürgen is CEO and owner of the ‘Pflugfelder Unternehmensgruppe‘, a conglomerate of 22 companies in Ludwigsburg, Germany. His first visit to Kamalaya last October was four weeks.

Then I turned 63 I realized that I had never in my life taken a long vacation. Never! A few months ago my son Julian stepped up in our company and was made partner. He does a great job and I knew  that this was the right moment to disappear for a few weeks. I needed to find myself, to realize what I truly want and to also become more clear about the next years. Staying in only one place for such a long period  of time was new to me but I realized very quickly how much it helped me.

Kamalaya offers so many different activities and I threw myself completely into it. I booked a program and even added some extra treatments. What surprised me most was that I actually like yoga – which was something I had always looked down on and considered it ‘a women’s thing’. And I am now a big fan of Qigong, I have already started to take private classes back at home. 

While I was at Kamalaya I worked a few hours every day and continued to take care of my business from my here. I had imagined that it would be difficult because of the six hours time difference but it was not. Every night after dinner I was on the phone for an hour or two and answered my emails. During the day while everyone was still asleep in Europe I could enjoy my time off without feeling the urge to be available. I didn’t try to run the details of our everyday’s business but I was there for the big decisions. Which was also a good lesson to learn – that I don’t have to be involved in every detail.

As I said before - I never took a long holiday but I can tell you: You can get used to that!

Kerry O’ Brien

Kerry is an Investment Manager at a Family Office in Dublin, Ireland. He came to Kamalaya for the first time in 2018. In October 2019 he returned, this time for four weeks.

During 2019, I’ve had two rounds of serious surgery and been ill for about 5 months before my final theatre visit. I convalesced in Ireland for about two weeks before flying out to Koh Samui. At Kamalaya, I worked with my naturopath, Leila to construct a program that basically coaxed me to slow down and allow the natural healing process to take its course. I was surprised by how quickly my body became re-invigorated and nourished, also by the clean, simple and tasty food as well as beverages on offer.  The upbeat positivity of the food & beverage team and hospitality staff cheered me along every day as I grew stronger.

I really tried used my stay as way to disconnect from work. The time difference between Ireland and Thailand is 6-7 hours depending on time of year. Only occasionally did I have to touch base with the office and check markets. I delegated many aspects of my day-to-day job so that there was little need for me to be in constant contact which when it did happen was usually via Skype or FaceTime in the evenings. I felt this separation from work contributed to my rapid recuperation.

The new beginnings that I have experienced since my return to Dublin came about through a renewed openness in me to attend industry events and meet new people. As a result, my career is now looking to take a different path which is very exciting for me. None of this could not have happened were I not a more open person from my time at Kamalaya.

You see, the no-phone-detox actually encouraged me to talk to all kinds of people and I found myself hearing different perspectives as well as finding common ground with all kinds of characters. I think that this was very much part of the process that re-invigorated me.

If I had to take away one thing from my second visit, it was this. I arrived a very closed off angry person due to my illness. After my stay, I ventured back in the world a more open person, excited again about people and the opportunities around me.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone at Kamalaya who helped me on my journey.